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the Condition of our own Minds, the less Impression will the Characters and Reports of Men make upon us. For God feeth not as Men fee; they observe the Face and outward Appearance, but he searcheth and understands the Heart. They look upon the Action, and form a Judgment from thence ; He sees our Intentions, and condemns or acquits us according to our Honesty and Sincerity, or corrupt Inclinations and wicked Defigns. And therefore a Modest Humble Man makes it his constant Care to be doing Good, and to think meanly of his own Performances. He seeks, nay he feels no great Matter of Comfort, from any of the Advantages which attend Well-doing in this World ; but considers whom he serves, and for whose fake he does it, and chearfully relies upon him alone, for the Praise and Reward of that which best deserves it. And when we are not anxiously concerned for the Testimony and Credit of Men, then may we truly be faid to have resigned our felves to God, and to depend upon Him, with that stedfast and holy Confidence which becomes us. Not be that commendetb bim
2 Cor. X. 18, self (no, nor he whom others commend neither) is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth. And therefore a Holy and Spiritual Man indeed lays aside, as much as may be, all Concern with the World. He considers that God is the only Person whom he fhould labour to please ; and while he is happy in his Approbation, and the Witness of a good Conscience, all outward Accidents are considered, as Things remote, and foreign to his main Design; and such as ought not much to affect him.
C# A P.
CH A P. VII.
Of Loving Jesus above all things.
Lessed is that Man indeed, who feels and relishes
the Love of Jesus; who finds the Sweet of this Love, and can even despise and hate himself for his Saviour's fake. For, tho’the Love of our selves be the very Voice of Reason and Nature, yet the same Voice commands us too, to quit a less valuable Friend for a better. And this Exchange he hath made neceffary to our Obedience, who requires us, to Love him only, above all Things. And He alone is worthy of our Love. For the Objects of this World, which are too apt to engage our Affections, are uncertain and deceita ful; but Christ is Faithful and Eternal, and will not fail to return and reward our Love. He that depends upon any Temporal Comfort, will one. Day be convinc'd of its Frailty to his Cost, when He and it both perish together ; but Jesus remaineth for ever. And as he cannot perish himself, fo neither will he suffer any. to perish, who depend upon bim. Let him then be your Hope, your Joy, your Love, whose Friendship and whose Power are everlasting Tho' all Things forsake you, yet will not He; nay, all things else will certainly forsake you, but even then He will be All, and more than all the World to you.
Living and dying then, keep close and stedfast to. Him, for he in Life and Death will be to you Advantage. But then his Friendship and constant Protection depends upon this Condition, That you admit no Rival into Competition with him. He will not accept divided Affections, but expects to reign fupreme and fole Lord of your Hearts; and the only way of inviting Him thither, is to cast out allother Inmates, and let Him have the whole House to himself. And indeed, when
we come to consider and compute Matters justly, whatever Love or Regard we have allowed to any thing but Him, will be found in a manner perfectly loft and thrown away. Do not therefore indulge a Pallion, which can turn to no Account. Lean not upon a broken Reed, which will not only let thee fall, but pierce thy Arm too. And such a Reed is Mortal Man, For all Flesh is Grass, and all the Glory thereof flourisheth as a Flower of the 1 Pet. i. 24. Field ; The Grass withereth, and the Flower fadeth ; And they who are enamour'd with its Beauty, find how poor and transitory, how empty and deceitful a Good they set their Hearts upon. Where-ever else we expect Comfort, our Hopes are soon blasted, or wretchedly disappointed : But when our Thoughts and Wishes center in Jesus, we are sure to find what we look for, sure to obtain all that we did, more than we could, expect. Think not to find Satisfaction in thy self: for the better you understand your self, the less Cause you will find to love your felf; and the more you indulge this Love, the greater and more certain will be your Ruin. Seek then thy Lord and only Saviour ; for he who hath Chrift, poffesses all Things: And he who neglects him does himself more Mischief than all the Enemies, nay, all this World, and all the powers of Hell, could ever bring upon him.
C H A P.
CH A P. VIII.
Hile Jesus is present by his Grace and Comfort,
nothing is hard to do, nothing grievous to fuffer ; but Happiness and perfect Peace dwell and reign in my
Breast. But the Moment he withdraws his chearing Presence, all my Supports are lost and gone, all my Faculties disabled, and every Difficulty insuperable, every Cross insupportable. The Confolations of this World make no Impression, nor give any folid Joy, while he continues silent; but let him fpeak one single Word of Comfort to the Soul, and she is gay in the
midst of Distresses. Thus Mary rose imFobn xi.
mediately, and dried up her Tears, upon the News of his Approach, and the first Call of her dear Master. And happy sure was she, happy is every Mortal in this Vale of Tears, whom Jesus calls. For whom he calls and commands to come to him, he calls from Grief and Mourning to true Joy. How flat and insipid, how harsh and unpleasant is all we are, and all we have, without this Heavenly Comforter? How empty and deluding all those wishes and Desires, which are placed upon any other Object? They bid us infinitely to our Lofs. A Loss greater and more irre, trievable, than if we lost the whole World. For cou'd we gain the whole world with the Loss of Him, it were a foolish and most miserable Exchange. And what indeed is all the World without him? To be deprived of this one Friend, is bitterer than Death: To enjoy and possess him, the only Happiness of Life. His Friendship is Security sufficient against a whole World of Enemies : A Treasure above all the Riches of the Universe. He who finds this, hath more than both
the Indies ; and he who loses it, lofes more than can be express’d. But why do I say more ? He loses all For this is Poverty indeed, this the only Poverty, to lofe the only true Riches.
So all-fufficient, so delightful, so heavenly sweet, is the Friendship and Company of Jesus. But every Man is not qualify'd for so precious a Blessing, for it requires great Care, and Skill, and Wisdom, to be fiç for this Enjoyment. Humility and Charity must make and keep him ours. Piety and Peace are the Difpofitions he delights in. Sin, and Passion, and Worldly Affections, will drive him away. And if he take his Flight, where, wretched Man, where wilt thou find a Friend? Without a Friend thou canst not live in Comfort; and if he be not thy only Friend, thou art left defolate and forlorn. Consider then, how miserable thou makest thy self, by placing thy Confidence, or thy Joy, in any other. For better were it far, that the whole World should bend their utmost Spight against thee, than this one Friend be provoked to Displeasure. If therefore Relations and Acquaintance be dear, yet let none be fo, comparably to thy God and Saviour. Remember, they are dear for his Sake, but he for his own. For this is the peculiar Prerogative of Christ, that Enemies as well as Friends should challenge a share in thy Affections upon His Account. Thou art to forgive and love, to pity and pray for all Mankind, because be loves them all; and it ought to be the earnest Defire of our Hearts, that all may know, and be sensible of his Love, and make fome suitable Returns for such wonderful Goodness. But neither we nor any other Person have a Right to be loved for our own selves; for the Foundation of Love is Excellence and Goodness ; and this is all from God. In him alone it dwells originally, inherently, independently; and what Proportion soever any Creature hath, is entirely derived from him, the Emanation of that universal and